The new year is well underway. Maybe you have resolved to exercise more, eat less sugar, or finally finish that travel guide to craft breweries in the Northeast. There are a few myths still live and well in many IT organizations that you should resolve to bust this year.
Myth #1: We can build/fix anything we need.
Have a developer on staff? Great! That person will be invaluable as you customize your applications, troubleshoot issues, and so much more. Before you commit him or her to developing a custom application to help you fulfill your client orders, stop. Does something like that already exist? Probably. It might seem like a sunk cost to just pay for said developer’s time to create something from scratch, but the care and feeding of that application and the lack of resources available to service it will hinder its (and your) growth in the future.
Another area where do-it-yourself temptations need to be checked is on-premise hosting. Sure, you can build a data center that you can manage yourself, but should you? It’s impossible to know what power requirements you’ll have long term. Not only that, but your high-level engineers, sys-admins, and the like will be focused on maintaining your data center and not on more strategic work that could propel your business forward. Before you take on the power, cooling, real estate, connectivity, and myriad other challenges inherent to a data center, consider the cloud and colocation. There are solution providers out there who can help you find the right mix that allows you to have the security, access, and control required without risking your company’s data or ability to remain competitive.
Myth #2: IT must own technology.
This one is changing for a lot of organizations as marketing, finance, and other departments are adopting technologies at breakneck speeds. The role of technology is to enable the business to meet its goals. Sure, IT needs to have input on how applications and software are brought on board, but IT and the other departments of any given organization must also be allies. They must be partners who aren’t sneaking around to get apps past IT or dictating to the business what software can or cannot be used based purely on technical concerns and not with an eye to the goals of the business. In other words, the business as a whole owns technology and everyone in the business needs to come together to reach a common goal. Collaboration is the name of the game.
Myth #3: IT is a cost center.
If IT is a cost center in your organization, you’re doing it wrong. It’s time to recast your expectation of your IT department and the services they provide. It is imperative that business leaders truly understand what benefits to the business are being driven by IT spend. Similarly IT must be a trusted advisor for the business, identifying effective, efficient technology activities and strategies to achieve stated business goals. If IT is seen as a cost center with a budget that must be constantly shaved whenever things get tight then the dollars spent are not viewed in the larger picture of service to the business. All IT costs, direct and hidden, for each business initiative should be clearly defined and communicated to business stakeholders. Areas for efficiency gains should still be sought out, but slashing the budget by 5% will have impacts that reach beyond the bottom line.
Busting these myths will help your organization become more adaptive to change and to grow and support the business. If you need some help in understanding where your IT environment can gain efficiencies to better support your business, give us a call. Happy to help empower your team to do all they can in the year to come.